June 19, 2008

Clean Up Your Financial House

I am asked a hundred questions every week, and some of the ones I receive over and over are the easiest to solve.

“How do I keep track of all my accounts?”

Consolidate them and use on-line bill pay. That’s it.

Okay, maybe that is not the whole story, but consolidate where and when you can. I try to have my clients that are worried about missing something do the following:
  • Have one checking account and one savings account

  • Manage your time and your money more efficiently by using your bank’s on-line bill pay service. It is a quick way to setup reminders and pay bills.

  • Setup automatic payments for recurring bills.

  • Have one IRA and/or Roth IRA - it is okay to have one of each

  • Have only your current 403(b)/401(k) Plan - rollover previous 403(b) and/or 401(k) plans to your IRA - one client “forgot” about $150,000 at a previous employer until we asked about any former plans.

  • Have one brokerage (taxable) account. It helps to cut down on errors at tax time. Stop looking for multiple reports, and only look for one account.
These are simple things, but the more spread out you are, the more time it takes for you to know and understand where you stand financially.

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